WICKLOW COMPARED TO NORTH KOREA BY BRAY WANDERERS CHAIRMAN
TWO bizarre statements released by chairman of Bray Wanderers FC, Gerry Mulvey, likened Wicklow to North Korea throwing the club into ridicule.
In a statement released last Thursday Mr Mulvey confirmed that the beleaguered club is ‘financially stable for the foreseeable future’ adding it has ‘a vision for the future unrivalled by any other football club in Ireland’.
All very positive sounding. However he then said ‘Wicklow County has unfortunately now attained the accolade of being the North Korea of Ireland for business’ before saying that ‘ like all suppressed people, they will eventually revolt, a revolution of football is going to start and Bray Wanderers will be the leaders not just for Wicklow but for Ireland in this revolt’.
He questioned why Ireland can’t produce great football talent any more before promising that Bray Wanderers ‘is going to answer the questions and solve this problem’.
He went onto say that ‘we are going to give Wicklow and Ireland something to be proud of where there will be an academy to rival the best in the world.’
Mr Mulvey continued by saying the club is in ‘preliminary negotiations to buy a new ground’ before saying the club ‘will be seeking from Wicklow County Council the rezoning of the land in The Carlisle grounds with the development proceeds used to fund the construction of what will be the best academy and sporting grounds in the country’.
He said ‘when you operate in North Korea these options are difficult to achieve’ but he said the club would succeed.
‘Eventually when we have succeeded in our vision creating the best centre of excellence in Ireland...creating the best production line of players in Ireland, we will hand the facility and sustainable business over to a trust who will protect the club and the development of football in Wicklow and Ireland long after our collective lifetimes’.
Concluding Mr Mulvey quoted Ghanian writer and teacher Ernest Agyemang Yeboah, author of Distinctive Footprints in Life, saying ‘fear has no place in Bray Wanderers’.
Less than 24 hours later and Mr Mulvey had surpassed his initial statement in terms of bizarreness and dropped another missive claiming the first statement had brought them national and international publicity likening the club to the men and women of 1916 who had fought for Irish freedom.
Again he likened Wicklow to North Korea when it came to business saying ‘it is an impossible place to do business or succeed’ saying ‘ the garden of Ireland has a terrible record of generating real business’.
He claimed ‘people are afraid to spend their money on a planning application in Wicklow for anything as it’s feared it’s a waste of money’ referring to the recent decision by the council refusing developer Johnny Ronan permission to build a €50m sports hotel in Enniskerry.
He went onto say that ‘ businesses refuse to look at Wicklow for investment as they know how difficult a place it is to operate.’ He said the ‘negativity emanating from Council decisions is ...without doubt the worst in Ireland. North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un, with the best propaganda machine, couldn’t undo the sheer negative connotation associated with Wicklow for business.’
Mr Mulvey then turned his anger on Wicklow politicians claiming they had done little to make a significant difference in the development of Wicklow saying ‘ there is so much more neglect in Wicklow that needs addressing’.
‘ The people in Wicklow are tired of being neglected and if they had five Jackie Healy Rae’s who would finally get them some real results, I think the current establishment would realise their cushy numbers would not be so cushy.’
Mr Mulvey said the club intends to invite councillors and council staff as well as the county’s five TD’s to visit a training academy in England to see how they are producing quality players.
He made reference to, what he termed ‘cynical commentary’ following his initial statement but vowed not to give up.
‘Should the martyrs of 1916 have laid down their arms in first few hours of the revolution when they were being laughed at, just gave up and left Ireland under the control of the British?’
Once again he said that the new club, once established, would be handed over to a trust in favour of the people of Wicklow.
‘Some Council members have immediately shot down our proposals and would rather leave Wicklow sport in the same way they have left Arklow with no sewage treatment plant. In summer the smell and sight from the river (in Arklow) is disgusting. That is what Council want Wicklow football to resemble - the excrement and disgusting state of the river in Arklow.’
He vowed to continue to develop a new club grounds saying ‘we do not have accept it anymore. We will develop this facility and put in place a long term plan to deal with the long term financial future for the development of the club, collective Wicklow teams and maybe wider afield in Ireland.’
He said the club couldn’t hand it over in trust now because ‘if we did it now the club would fold financially within days and there would be no club and no potential centre of excellence.’